US 20070033128 A1
Methods for updating a task list from an action item documentation view are provided. In one embodiment, a method of the present invention may include creating an health information network fund in which a portion of the assessed investment fund fees and/or investment fund service providers' fees and/or capital gains are designated for underwriting a health information network such as a National Health Information Network organization (NHIN) and/or Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) as directed by the investment fund's manager and general partner. Shareholders of one or more open-ended fund share classes (such as mutual fund share classes, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs)) and closed-ended unit investment trust (UIT) share classes designate one or more NHIN and RHIO entities to receive the accumulated amounts attributable to their individual accounts. Transferred amounts are then tracked and paid to these NHIN and RHIO entities on a periodic basis according to the designations on the records of the investment fund.
1. A method of operating financial investment funds to finance one or more health information network entities, the method comprising:
creating one or more share classes of securities for investment management purposes;
designating a contribution amount for distribution to one or more health information network entity for said one or more share classes;
designating one or more health information network entities to receive said designated contribution amounts;
determining and revising the percentage allocations of the contribution amounts among the designated entities so as to meet the operating and investment objectives of the fund;
accumulating said contribution amounts for a designated period of time; and
distributing said accumulated contribution amounts to said designated health information network entity.
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issuing one or more share classes to be bought from and redeemed with said fund at a net asset value;
selling and redeeming said share classes to said holders;
obtaining designations of the health information network entities from said holders; and
maintaining account data for the outstanding share classes in one or more computers.
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25. A computerized method for record keeping for a fund with purposes having one or more share classes, the fund having a contribution amount designated for distribution to one or more health information network entities or causes, wherein holders of said one or more share classes designate health information network entities to receive said designated contribution amounts; and wherein said contribution amounts accumulated for a designated period of time and said accumulated contribution amounts are distributed to said designated health information network entities, the method comprising:
storing in a computer system information relating to said fund;
accepting investor capital from at least one holder;
storing information in the computer system relating to said at least one holder, wherein the stored information includes investor identification information, investment amounts, the terms of investments and the designations of said holder; and
storing information relating to said fund, wherein said stored information includes the investments and investment history of said fund and the contribution accumulation and distribution records and history for said designated NHIN or RHIO entities.
This application claims the benefit of priority of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/644,881 filed on Jan. 18, 2005.
The present invention relates to method of funding a healthcare information network entity. More particularly, embodiments of the present invention relate to methods for funding National Health Information Network (NHIN) organizations or Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs).
Recent initiatives to establish nation-wide and regional health information networks have been troubled by lack of adequate public financing. NHIN and RHIOs entities are constrained to operate as not-for-profit “utility-like” organizations. If the entities are organized as 501(c)(3) organizations or as units of government agencies, then they are restricted from raising capital through issuance of private equity. Various financial vehicles exist, but they tend to have high expense ratios, require setting aside entire investments for the purposes set forth at the time of establishment of the fund, fail to produce an ongoing revenue stream, and/or do not produce any direct return for the investors.
Thus a need exists for an investment vehicle that permits investors to minimize the investment risk and pursue competitive rates of return while contributing ongoing income streams to the funds of interest to NHIN and RHIO entities and their investors. Accordingly, a method for funding health information network entities would be advantageous.
Embodiments of the present invention provide methods for funding health information network entities. In one embodiment, the present invention is an investment fund in which a portion of the assessed fund fees and/or vendor service fees and/or capital gains are set aside by the fund's manager for distribution to NHIN and RHIO entities as directed by the fund's general partner and investment advisor. Shareholders designate one or more NHIN or RHIO entities to receive the accumulated amounts that result from their proportionate investment in the investment fund. Such amounts are tracked and paid to NHIN or RHIO entities on a periodic basis according to records held on the investment fund's transfer agent system. The NHIN or RHIO entities and shareholders each receive reports regarding the fund payments.
In some cases, shareholders may elect to donate all or part of their investment, or all or part of their gains distributions, to one or more of the 501(c)(3) NHIN or RHIO entities. Each such entity designated receives a statement along with the periodic payment that identifies the amounts donated and a list of the corresponding shareholder donors, although donor shareholders have the ability to remain anonymous if desired. Each donor shareholder receives a summary of their portion of the investment fund's donation on their periodic statement. The portion of the investment fund manager's fees or other service providers' fees to be donated to the NHIN or RHIO entities, may be disclosed as a separate line item in the investment fund's prospectus expense table.
One advantage of the present invention for sponsors (e.g. fund investment advisors and service providers) is that the sponsors and affiliated departments and brokers are able to attract a new market segment, thereby increasing assets under management and generating new reoccurring revenues and sales commissions. The principal advantages of the invention for NHIN or RHIO entities are a new source for recurring revenue streams and for access to capital in a highly liquid market. A further advantage is that 501(c)(3) organizations, including the NHIN and RHIOs themselves, can invest in these funds under current U.S. SEC law, provided that they have assets in excess of $5M. Other advantages are apparent from the detailed description of the invention.
The present invention is described in detail below with reference to the attached drawing figures, wherein:
The subject matter of the present invention is described with specificity herein to meet statutory requirements. However, the description itself is not intended to limit the scope of this patent. Rather, the inventor has contemplated that the claimed subject matter might also be embodied in other ways, to include different steps or combinations of steps similar to the ones described in this document, in conjunction with other present or future technologies. Moreover, although the terms “step” and/or “block” may be used herein to connote different elements of methods employed, the terms should not be interpreted as implying any particular order among or between various steps herein disclosed unless and except when the order of individual steps is explicitly described.
The present invention provides a method for funding a health information network entity. Specifically, a feasible financial vehicle for achieving the necessary private capitalization is investment funds, such as special NHIN- or RHIO-oriented mutual funds or exchange-traded funds described in this patent as Health Information Network Funds (HINFs) or unit investment trusts (UITs), in which large groups of individuals, provider and payer organizations, institutional investors, government agencies, and the NHIN and RHIOs themselves may specifically underwrite the creation and operations of NHIN and RHIO organizations. Such investment funds accomplish the goals of achieving a higher level of investment and liquidity than could be reached through public general fund appropriations or public debt issuance, and of reducing investment risk by diversifying the NHIN and RHIO investments by spreading the risk among a greater number and types of investments than investors or the governments could conveniently do independently. Also, the general partner and investment advisor provide professional investment and money management experience to operate the fund so as to meet the objectives for financial return and to conform to applicable SEC and other regulations. The individual investors are assessed fees in connection with the operation of the mutual fund, typically calculated as a percentage of the assets during a given period of time and/or transaction fees on the sale or purchases of investments. The fund itself may also pay a variety of fees to third party service providers.
Types of investment funds include investment companies, common trust and collective trust funds, and hedge funds. Investment companies are comprised of four main types of investment vehicles: mutual funds, closed-end funds, unit investment trusts, and exchange-traded funds. A closed-end fund is a type of investment company that has a fixed number of shares that are publicly traded. The price of the shares of a closed-end fund fluctuates based on investor supply and demand. Closed-end funds are not required to redeem shares and have managed portfolios. A unit investment trust (UIT) is an investment company that buys and holds a fixed number of shares until the trust's termination date. When the trust is dissolved, proceeds are paid to shareholders. A UIT has an unmanaged portfolio. Like a mutual fund, shares of a UIT can be redeemed on any business day. An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is an investment company with shares that trade intraday on stock exchanges at market-determined prices. Investors may buy or sell ETF shares through a broker just as they would the shares of any publicly traded company. Common trust and collective trust funds are asset pools for the collective investment of assets held in a fiduciary or ERISA capacity by a trust company or bank. Common trust and collective trust fund units may only be purchased or redeemed through the trust company or bank.
HINF funds that are the subject of the present patent provide a simplified format for investment in multiple NHIN or RHIO entities through a single account, summarized in regular statements. Contributions to such a fund are invested in one of several portfolios tailored to particular investment goals that are offered by the investment management company, and thus can grow before it is passed on to its ultimate NHIN and RHIO recipients. If HINF funds are organized as not-for-profit entities, then the capital gain distributions from such investments may be expected to have tax-exempt status. If an investor donates their entire investment in such HINFs, such donations would additionally be expected to have tax-deductible status.
In an open-ended fund, as depicted in
A method for establishing fund donation expenses in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention is depicted in the representative flow chart of
A method for fund account application and creation in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention is illustrated by representative flow diagram of
Designation of the NHIN or RHIO entities may be changed from time-to-time by the shareholder by notifying the fund of the changes. In an embodiment, the shareholder will be limited to changing his or her designation after the end of the then current donation period to simplify administration of the apportionment and payments. The frequency of changing designations and allocation amounts may also be limited by the capabilities of the transfer agent.
A method for daily funds operation in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention is depicted in the representative flow chart in
The present invention has been described in relation to particular embodiments, which are intended in all respects to be illustrative rather than restrictive. Alternative embodiments will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art to which the present invention pertains without departing from its scope.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that this invention is one well adapted to attain all the ends and objects set forth above, together with other advantages which are obvious and inherent to the system and method. It will be understood that certain features and sub-combinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and sub-combinations. This is contemplated by and within the scope of the claims.